“For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” Matthew 12:8
[Thought questions for Sabbath: A Gift From Eden March 13, 2013]
1. The creation of the Sabbath. What was the final work of Creation Week? Why did God take the time to set aside one 24-hour day after everything that He had made was on the earth? Was God weary? Are we weary, when Sabbath comes around? What makes you think, if you do, that God derived special joy in creating the Sabbath day on earth? Were Adam and Eve Jews? Didn’t they start keeping the Jewish Sabbath from the first week on earth? Explain your answer.
2. Creation and the seventh day. Do you have the “creation Sabbath habit?” If you do, how do you link Creation week with the Sabbath week after week? In what ways is the concept of “rest” referred to in Hebrews 4:3 the same as the Sabbath rest? The lesson asks this challenging question, how could a literal six-day Creation be proved, anyway? What is your answer? Does the lack of hard evidence undermine the importance of the concept of the seventh day of Creation being the Sabbath?
3. Two reasons for Sabbath. Does it trouble you that the Sabbath commandment in Exodus has a different emphasis from the one in Deuteronomy? Why do you think God expressed the fourth commandment as a memorial of creation as well as a reminder of God’s mighty redemptive power in rescuing His people from the land of Egypt? Which of the two renderings of the Sabbath commandment carries the most relevance to us today? Why? Should we spend time thinking of the Sabbath in terms of how God has created us and has also provided for our redemption?
4. Jesus and the Sabbath. Did Jesus keep the Sabbath out of habit? Is Sabbath keeping a good habit to cultivate? Are we ever too hard on our teenagers and children in setting down requirements for keeping the Sabbath? Or do the Sabbath-keeping adults you know spend most of Sabbath afternoon sound asleep and unaware of what the kids are doing? Are there ways we as individual churches and family groups could follow the example of Jesus in relieving suffering and ministering to others on the Sabbath? Or using Sabbath as a platform to joy and Christian celebration for our youngsters?
5. The scoffers. Do today’s scoffers say that things continue as they always have? Or do they say that the process of change is very slow? Have you noticed that the basic belief of evolutionists seems to be, “Given enough time, it (anything) can happen”? Can a person who does not believe in a seven-day creation week still keep and enjoy the blessings of the Sabbath day? Why do most people seem unaware of the repeating and emphasis of the Sabbath doctrine throughout Scripture? Could we present the Bible Sabbath in a more appealing way to those who haven’t seen its value before? Or would we just cause more discord?
6. Sing a psalm on Sabbath. (Psalm 92.) Would you have enjoyed a Sabbath day in the Old Testament listening to David singing and playing an antique harp or other musical instrument? Some people are tone deaf and can’t appreciate music, but most of us enjoy the harmony and rhythm of praise music on Sabbath. Have you known people who go through the entire SDA hymnal while they’re at home, singing, playing, and being blessed by the hymns in that volume of praise and worship? Do you think we’ll do a lot of singing throughout eternity? What will we be singing about?
7. Created in His image. Why is it that some of us aren’t handsome or beautiful but are downright homely? What about those of us born with cruel defects or injuries that make us look ugly in the eyes of others? In what sense do all of us reflect the image of God? Will our appearance be modified in heaven and beyond so that we’ll all be masterpieces of good looks and yet all be unique as ourselves? Does it give you a sense of joy and satisfaction to know we were created by an all-powerful, all-loving God and did not spring forth step by step from bits of moss or slime gradually turning into worms and frogs and finally humans? Share your joy in creation with others. Be glad you’re a child of God.